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No. 5 Men’s Squash Visits No. 15 Columbia, No. 6 Cornell

Ali Farag went undefeated through January with a 4-0 mark in the No. 1 position (photo courtesy Dale Walker).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 5 Harvard men's squash team travels to New York City and Ithaca, N.Y. this weekend to take on No. 15 Columbia and No. 6 Cornell in a pair of Ivy League contests.

No. 5 Harvard
The Crimson broke out to a 10-0 start before dropping its next two to No. 3 Princeton and then-No. 1 Trinity. Despite the losses, Harvard remained in the No. 5 position in the most recent College Squash Association (CSA) rankings and will likely move up after knocking off No. 4 Rochester, 7-2, Jan. 28. All 21 players on Harvard's roster have won at least two individual matches and all enter the weekend with records of over .500. The Crimson is 111-15 (.881) in individual matches in 2011-12, including 13-0 in the No. 1 position. Brandon McLaughlin (4), Nigel Koh (3) and Nick Hopcroft (2) provided the early season wins at No. 1 for the Crimson, while Ali Farag (4-0) has won the last four matches in the top spot. Julian Kirby (10-1) leads the team in wins with 10.

Last Time Out
After losing its last two matches, the No. 5 Harvard men's squash team got back on track with a dominant 7-2 win over No. 4 Rochester Jan. 28 at the Murr Center. Ali Farag won his fourth consecutive match at No. 1 to start his college career, as the Crimson won in each of the top seven positions.

No. 15 Columbia
The Lions were on a two-game winning streak with wins over Connecticut College and Georgetown to get back to .500 for the year, before slipping to 5-6 overall with a loss No. 10 Williams, 8-1.

This is the first meeting between Columbia and Harvard since the Lions became a varsity program in 2010-11.

No. 6 Cornell
Entering the weekend, the Big Red is tied with Harvard for third place in the Ivy League. Cornell sits at 8-3 overall with all of its losses coming to teams in the top five. Trinity and Yale downed the Big Red earlier in the season and most recently Cornell fell to Rochester, 7-2.

Owen Butler comes into the weekend with the best record for the Big Red at 10-1 in positions No. 6-9, while Arjun Gupta trails at 9-2 in positions No. 3-6.

Harvard leads the all-time series with Cornell, 40-2, with both of the Big Red's wins in the series having come recently. Cornell's first victory over the Crimson came in 2008 and the second in 2010, but Harvard won the last meeting, 5-4, a season ago.

Next Up
Harvard rounds out the regular season against Brown Feb. 10 at the Murr Center and at Yale Feb. 12.